10 Must Try Food Dish in Nepal For Foreigners

food in nepal

Food in Nepal: Culinary Treasures of The Nepali Cuisine

Nepal is a country nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse culture, and, with it, its delectable cuisine. Surrounding neighbors with their unique cuisine influences Nepalese cuisine, creating a harmonious blend of flavors from both India and China. From steaming momos and dal bhat power to refreshing desserts, we count down the best food in Nepal. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to the must-try dishes that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more.

1. Momos: The Nepali Dumplings


Search everywhere for a different answer, but the undisputed winner of the best street delicacy is momos. Having a plate of momos is the American equivalent of going to your local fast-food restaurant for a quick bite. Momos are delicate steamed dumplings filled with mixtures of minced meat (chicken, beef, or pork) and vegetables with aromatic herbs and spices.

It’s usually followed with a small bowl or bottle of delicious dipping or drowning (if you like your momos with lots of achars) sauce called achar (tomato, sesame, or peanut sauces).

It’s a local street food, so a plate of momo shouldn’t cost you more than 200 rupees. Anything higher than that, and you lose the real Nepalese taste. The best ones are usually at the local stalls or smaller restaurants. The real momos are juicy and make anyone’s mouth water just from the smell alone. I just can’t recommend it enough when it’s snack time; you know, it’s momo time.

2. Dal Bhat: The Staple Food in Nepal

Dal bhat

Words aren’t enough to describe the relationship of Dal Bhat with the Nepalese people. Dal Bhat is THE food in Nepal. It’s not just a dish, but a cultural emblem. It is made of two words: Dal, the lentil soup, is seasoned with an aromatic blend of spices, providing a rich protein base. Bhat means rice. It’s a simple yet essential grain that acts as a canvas for the vibrant flavors of Nepalese cuisine.

Dal Bhat has an array of side dishes, including pickles, achars, vegetables, and meat, which gives you the complete all-around fuel to start or end your night. You’ll hear the proverb “Dal Bhat Power 24 Hours” anywhere in Nepal, and it sure will live up to it. Food in Nepal

3. Kwati


There’s probably no one on earth who does not like a good, warm bowl of stew. Kwati is a colorful stew from Nepal that is made up of various beans. This includes kidney beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, soybeans, mung beans, green beans, black beans, and white beans. Name it all, this soup is full of veggie goodness and very delicious.

Kwati is not something you’d find anywhere, anytime.  Most people have kwati in their homes on the festival of Gun Punhi, the full moon day that falls in August. If you make it during that time or have people you know here, perhaps you’d want a taste of a good Kwati. It’s a good food in Nepal that you should try.

4. Sel Roti


Not feeling like doughnuts today? How about a Sel Roti? Take it as a fusion of doughnut and bagel. Sel Roti is a very popular snack food in Nepal, especially during the festive season. This circular treat made with rice flour is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s a popular snack that holds a special place in the hearts and plates of the people of Nepal.

You don’t need to make it during the festive season to enjoy a good sel roti. Enjoy your circular treat with a warm glass of tea, veggies, or curd. Don’t forget to add this delicacy to your bucket list!

5. Choila


The local Newar community in Nepal has significantly influenced most dishes, particularly in the central regions of the country. Since you will land in the country’s capital one way or another, we have a few Newari treats on the way. They are the food of Nepal.

Chhoila is grilled or charred meat (mostly chicken or buffalo) marinated with a mixture of spices and herbs. This dish in particular is known for its spicy profile. The use of spices in this dish gives it a fiery kick, giving your taste buds a bang. The meat dish is typically served as an appetizer or snack and can be found in local taverns and restaurants. It’s best served with local-brewed alcohol and is popular during Newari festivals and special occasions. (P.S. Be careful during your bathroom breaks; it’s not a forgiving dish if it’s your first time trying something spicy.)

6. Chatamari



Chatamari, famously known as “Nepali Pizza” or “Nepalese Rice Crepe,” is a traditional and unique dish from the Newar community in Nepal. It’s a delectable and versatile food item that’s popular not only in Nepal but also in some parts of northern India.  A thin rice flour batter forms the base, and it’s then topped with various ingredients. The toppings can include minced meat, vegetables, eggs, or a mixture of all three.

Chatamari is a popular street food in the Kathmandu Valley. You can find vendors cooking and selling the dishes in the bustling markets and streets of city squares. It is served during gatherings and social events and is a part of Nepalese and Newari culinary culture. Be sure to try the food in Nepal!

7. Juju Dhau

Juju dhau

Enough of all the savory dishes; let’s talk about the sweet things, shall we?

Juju Dhau is a famous and cherished dessert in Nepal. It’s referred to as the “King of Yogurts” and originates from the Newar community. Taste-wise, it can be compared to Greek yogurt, but it is a lot sweeter. It’s a whole milk dessert flavored with cardamom and prepared in clay pots. It has a grainier taste than standard yogurts.

Juju Dhau is typically presented in small, round clay pots, adding to its traditional charm. Even when buying the dessert, you’ll find it in actual clay bowls.

When heading to the city squares in Bhaktapur and Lalitpur, be sure to try Juju dhau for yourself to see if it’s the king of yogurts. You can find it in other parts of Nepal, especially where they serve Newari cuisine.

8. Yomari


Yomari is a sweet and traditional Newari dessert and is often prepared during the Yomari Punhi festival (generally in November or December). You don’t have to wait for the festival to have a Yomari.

The sweet dish consists of rice flour and a filling. Yomari is shaped like a fig, and the sweet filling is covered by a soft and thick rice flour cover. The classic Yomari has either a sweet milk filling or a sesame filling. There are many other modern takes on yomari, such as the infamous crunchy fried yomari (widely criticized by the people here!) to cater to diverse tastes.

9. Rice Pudding (Kheer)


While not native to just Nepal, kheer (rice pudding) is a beloved and widely enjoyed dessert in the country. It’s a creamy and sweet dish made from rice, milk, and sugar, with various other garnishes.

The rice is washed and cooked in milk over low heat, followed by various other toppings and sugar. As the rice absorbs the milk, it ends up being this creamy and luscious dessert. It’s a local favorite dessert and is often served during religious events and special occasions.

Make sure to grab the chance to try this local dessert! There are also other different sweet food in Nepal to try.

10. Tongba


Nothing goes down without a good drink. If you fancy a bit of alcohol in the country, then nothing tops Tongba.

Tongba is a traditional alcoholic beverage that represents the eastern region of Nepal. This drink is popular in the Limbu and Rai communities. However, this drink has found itself popular in many local taverns all over Nepal.

The main and only ingredient in Tongba is fermented millet. The millet is served in a metal mug-like container (without a handle) with warm water. A metal straw is added to sip the warm drink. The millet grains release their flavors as the hot water warms them up. Additional rounds of water can be added to a single serving of this warm drink.

If you find yourself in Nepal during the winter season, it’s a great opportunity for you to grab a tongba in a local tavern. Perhaps you can ask locals around for the best Tonba in town. Tongba is a traditional and culturally rich beverage that offers a unique drinking experience. It’s not the food in Nepal, but it is THE drink of Nepal.

A country isn’t just defined by its geography but also by its people and food. If you ask me, good food isn’t something Nepal lacks. From the irresistible momos to the sweet delights of Juju Dhau, Nepal’s culinary landscape is as colorful as the country itself. Each bite tells a story about the country, the people, and the essence of the Himalayan region. The above-listed foods are the dishes that you must try; they’re the real food in Nepal. Bon appetite!

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